Friday, August 17, 2007

Band of the Week

Meshach Jackson

Life's journey, the events and small moments that build layer upon layer, at times moves quickly and at other times slowly pushes you towards character. This is the music of Meshach Jackson. It is a culmination of every town, of every face, of every sermon, of every disturbing interaction that he has experienced. Born in Louisiana, the son of a minister, Meshach has lived in Texas, Nashville, and finally New York. When creating, Meshach pulls pieces and samples from each of these places to form a sound that is both structured and wildly unpredictable at the same time. His music glides gracefully through electronic fields, while his vocals range from hollow and distant to warm and delicate to strong and forceful. You can instantly tell that thought and passion went into every single sound.

Meshach's journey has brought him to somewhat of a crossroads. Pouring virtually everything he has into his debut ep "Experiments In Drowning" (produced by Roy Mitchell-Cardenas of Mute Math), Meshach has chosen his path and is taking those necessary next steps to fulfill his goals. As he puts it "I hope, as I now "make" my own music, contributing to the collective consciousness of beauty and art, for the sake of beauty and art - that you'll make "my music" - yours."

I recently sent Meshach six questions to answer, and one of them pertained to his time in Texas.

Orange Alert: I have noticed a tremendous amount of quality music, especially electronic music, coming from Texas. What are your thoughts on the different music scenes in Texas? Do you feel that living in multiple states through out your life has added to the eclectic feel of your music?
Meshach Jackson: You know, I can't really say that I identify with the whole Texas music scene at all. I left Austin after 4 years because I was just disgusted by the music scene there. It just felt so forced. Contrived. Even pretentious, and I just couldn't do it any more. It was disheartening to find local "faux-lebrities" who had reached such a plateau with their fame that they essentially just stopped taking chances or inventing. I think that may be a benefit to my having moved around so much in my life. I'm really turned off by the idea of localized stardom, or fake fame, which has made me less and less satisfied with anything I do. It's made me hungry.

Kind of in the same way that growing up in church made me disgusted by counterfeit religion and made me seek God far more earnestly than I had before. A mentor of mine once told me, "The opposite of True is not False, but Counterfeit." I find that to be the case not just in religion, but with art as well. The opposite of true art is counterfeit art. Fake fame. I think I pursue creative inspiration and sincerity in my music far more earnestly now than if I had been allowed to stay in one town and settle into a local sound or vibe.

I hope I never do that. Settle in. Into a sound, a style, a vision, or even a place. If it means trading inspiration for stability, I'm just not interested in being stable. One of my favorite features of living in New York is that there's really no such thing as being a "local" success without also making an impact elsewhere. At least not with what I'm doing. There is always someone new who's doing something that's never been done, and you've only got a short period of time to act on anything new before it becomes a fad. Then, it's not just that you're in danger of seeming unoriginal, but you're something far worse... lazy. I hope to keep growing and to use the diversity of my experiences thus far as a sort of toolbox for future projects and songs. I plan to keep moving. Changing. Growing. But for now, I'm thrilled to be in and around a city like New York.

As for the reminder of my questions for Meshach, you can find them inside this incredible video:

Experiments In Drowning

Listen to:
Smile (mp3)
Shrug (mp3)

For more information on Meshach Jackson you can check out this myspace page or visit his blog.

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